My first contact with Thomas Smrt happened after I answered an ad
that he placed in the newspaper for a video editor. It was a blind ad,
so I has no idea that the creator of Shireland was on the other end. Weeks went by and I didn't hear
anything, so I forgot about it. On a Saturday
morning my phone rang at 7:30 AM, a time I am not used to
frequenting. It was Thomas Smrt.
In our brief phone conversation, he
drilled me with rapid-fire precision about my background as a video
editor. Even through he owned very sophisticated video editing
equipment, it was obvious that he knew nothing about it. I assumed that he probably had
someone advise him about what to buy then subsequently left the company. If that
happened, it would make sense that he would have no idea about the
equipment that he owned and would hire someone who did to operate
it. That was not unusual; the unusual part was to
I asked him about the job he had
available. He said that he "...had no job
available". I thought that was odd for someone to put an ad in
the paper who did not have a job available. He told me that he looks
for good people and then creates jobs around them. That struck me as
odd, but somewhat acceptable. He felt obliged
to tell me that he never got past the
4th grade, but he was a millionaire several times over. He told me he
owned a paint spraying company, a horse farm and was the creator of
Shireland, the amusement park (Italics added). He said
that even through he handled huge business transactions, he didn't even
have business cards.
He went on to tell me that "most people who come out of school are Dumb Sh*ts"!
That was O.K. , according to him, because he was a self proclaimed "... Dumb
Sh*t, as well". He said that most people coming out of school can't even
"...read or write, because most teachers aren't worth a Sh*t".
He stipulated that this was in sharp contrast to England where students
learned how to "... read and write and things..."
To say that I felt like I was in the Twilight
Zone was putting it mildly. I couldn't believe that someone would
use such pejorative language to someone he didn't know, who he was
considering hiring. Based on his comments, and the time, I decided I had
enough. I said, "I am going to hang up now, because I am
not interested in your position", but before I could get my last word
out, he hung up on me.
Several years later (2006) I would stick
my head into the beast's mouth when I talked my way into an interview and
an actual position with Thomas Smrt. Those details are on the next page.